YOUNGSVILLE — At the request of Mayor Ken Ritter, Councilwoman Dianne McClelland on Thursday tried but failed in an attempt to have the city ask the Lafayette Parish School Board to help pay for water, sewer and roads for proposed high school in Youngsville.
McClelland’s attempt came in the form of a proposed amendment to the preliminary plat for the school’s location, but the amendment died for lack of a second.
Instead, the council voted unanimously to approve the unamended plat, which includes water and sewerage being contributed by the city. The school’s location will be on South Larriviere Road.
“The city has made arrangements to commit more than $750,000 to water and sewerage, and I am proud of the commitment,” Ritter said. “My concern is to consider the roads leading to and around this site, specifically Almonaster Road.”
Ritter said a precedent has been set for the council to amend preliminary plats in which the council asks for the developer to contribute funds for sewerage and water. Ritter called the roads leading to the proposed location “deplorable” and said previous meetings with the Lafayette Consolidated Government have been unsuccessful.
“Those roads are part of our 10-year master plan,” Ritter said. “This is going to be a beautiful school that is located here, but the responsibility for the road is going to fall here. I don’t want to miss the opportunity to reserve the right to ask the developer to contribute.”
City Engineer Pam Granger estimated the costs to repair South Larriviere at $3.5 million and to repair Almonaster Road at $500,000. Granger said she had not asked yet for any funds from the LCG.
“The School Board is doing an accelerated design for this school,” Granger said. “It is not your typical design. Things are changing as they are trying to cut some square footage. We haven’t nailed down exactly what we need. What I have said is that we are looking for funding.
“These are things aside from what we have put in our master plan. The turnouts will need widening once we ironed out what those needs were. We were going to get the costs and address it then.”
Ritter said he didn’t want the discussions Thursday to be the end.
“We need to have some real talk with the School Board and let them know we need help,” Ritter said. “I think we can do that by adding a condition, similar to what we do with a similar plat. We need to require developer to contribute to water and sewer.”
In an unrelated matter Thursday, the council revealed a series of signs behind the council chambers that reads “In God We Trust,” with each word on a different sign, in accordance with a resolution the council passed earlier this year.
Councilman Matt Romero thanked First Assembly, First Baptist Church of Youngsville and the Youngsville Community Church for making large contributions to make the signs possible.
“This display is a representation of the spiritual foundation of our community,” Romero said. “It is a phrase we are all familiar with. It honors the belief system that established our government and is used more frequently in smaller government and law enforcement than ever before.”
Police Chief Rickey Boudreaux has also placed “In God We Trust” on all police units since the resolution was passed.